History is part of the fabric of the place we call SFA. The State Legislature had history in mind when they insisted that the name Stephen F. Austin go on the new college, even though in the legislation they specified a site "east of the 96th meridian." The state wanted to honor the Father of Texas. The State Board of Regents in 1917 selected Nacogdoches because of its rich historical traditions. The citizens selected as the property for the new college the homestead of Thomas J. Rusk and property previously owned by Sam Houston. By a stroke of historic irony, the new college had to open on the Old University campus on Washington Square; the new campus was incomplete at the time of opening. Symbolically, the higher educational pioneers in East Texas (Birdwell and his handful of faculty) had to conduct their business in a one room schoolhouse, "The Shack." The first president of the college was a historian and never gave up his profession as such. The first faculty member hired, a woman - Lois Foster Blount, was an historian. The yearbook committee in 1923-24 met in the Memorial Building (the Old Stone Fort on Washington Square), named the annual edition the Stone Fort ; the college led the restoration movements in the state by reconstructing the Old Stone Fort on campus in 1936 as a part of the Texas Centennial celebrations of that year. The third and fourth presidents of SFA were also practicing historians.The History Department was one of the original departments at the new college. SFA has always celebrated its heritage in anniversary years: in 1948 (25th), in 1963 (40th), in 1983 (60th). The SFA Story website will feature many of the articles written on these occasions. At the time of the 75th anniversary in 1998, the Daily Sentinel ran an extensive Heritage Series which we will feature on this website. As part of the 85th Anniversary celebration, the university will be dedicating four historical markers granted by the Texas State Historical Commission, hosting numerous festive occasions, extend its Heritage Series, and is inaugurating this website honoring The SFA Story.
Cliff Ammons (M.S., education), Louisiana state representative known as "the father of Toledo Bend Reservoir" Derrick Blaylock, National Football League running back (Kansas City Chiefs & New York Jets) Kim Brimer, former Texas state senator, District 10 Shane Carruth, filmmaker, writer/director/producer/star of Primer (film) Larry Centers, National Football League retired fullback Wayne Christian, Member, Texas House of Representatives 1997ï¿½Present, President, Texas Conservative Coalition Gerald Clarke, artist and educator Nelson Clyde, III, late publisher of the Tyler Morning Telegraph Rodney Crowell, Songwriter, Nashville Producer, Singer, Literary writer Mike Driver, disc jockey for 94.5 KFMX, Lubbock, Texas Spike Dykes, former head football coach for the Texas Tech Red Raiders Dustin Ellermann, competitive shooter and Christian camp director, winner of Top Shot (season 3) Lee Fitzgerald, Professor of Zoology and Faculty Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles at Texas A&M University. Don Gaston, former Executive Vice President of Gulf and Western Industries and Chairman of the Boston Celtics Todd Hammel, Arena Football League quarterback for 14 years Kevin Hannan, ethnolinguist Don Henley, musician, singer, songwriter, and drummer for the Eagles (1971ï¿½1980, 1994ï¿½present) Lance Hunter, watercolor and mural artist, current professor of Fine Arts at Northeastern State University, (Present) Jason Isaac (Class of 1996), member of the Texas House of Representatives since 2011 from Hays County in suburban Dallas Will Jennings, Grammy (1982, 1986, 1993, and 1997), Golden Globe (1983, 1991, and 1997), and Academy Award-winning (1983 and 1997) songwriter; member, Songwriters Hall of Fame Kent Johnston, National Football League assistant coach Joseph W. Kennedy, Co-Discoverer of Plutonium, 1917ï¿½1957 Ronnie Laws, Musician, Member of Earth, Wind, and Fire Brad Maule, Daytime Emmy Award winning actor Frank Melton, former mayor of Jackson, Mississippi (March 19, 1949 ï¿½ May 7, 2009) Allen R. Morris, Emmy Award Winning Producer/Director/Writer Mark Moseley, 1982 NFL MVP; played for Eagles (1970), Oilers (1971ï¿½1972), Redskins (1974ï¿½1986), and Browns (1986) Drew Nixon, former Republican state senator from Carthage Bill Owens, former Republican governor of Colorado Stephen Payne, International Relations and Energy Expert Bum Phillips, former National Football League head coach Mike Quinn, National Football League quarterback Rhonda Rajsich, women's racquetball player and two time World Champion Mikhael Ricks, former National Football League tight end/wide receiver Michael H. Schneider, Judge, U. S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas Terrance Shaw, retired National Football League defensive back (1995ï¿½2004) for several teams (2004) James Silas, American Basketball Association and National Basketball Association Chad Stanley, former NFL punter, tied NFL record for most punts in a season (114) Terrance Shaw, National Football League player, won Super Bowl XXXVI with the New England Patriots Belinda Temple, murdered in 2005 by her husband when she was 8 months pregnant Jeremiah Trotter, National Football League middle linebacker (Philadelphia Eagles) LTG (Retired) Orren "Cotton" Whiddon, '55, highest ranking alumni military officer, SFA Alumni Hall of Fame and the reason behind "Ole Cotton".